Dog Days of Summer
By KatherineM
Aug 1, 2005 - 4:58:00 AM

Pam moves back to a remote area of Franklin, Maine to make a fresh start, reinvent herself, and live out of the shadows of friends and family as she takes on a teaching job at her old elementary school. A lot has changed, the most intriguing of which is the school custodian.

Right away her eye catches the hunk with a tan, mowing the school grounds. Just the sight of his chiseled bod stirs her, but she's ignored by the new custodian. Pam wants to find a man.  Not just any man, either -- her 'ideal'. The one she's been dreaming about since high school. The kind that will dance with her, wine her, dine her and love her for who she is, not for her social status.

Derrick's content to be custodian in the small town, but that doesn't mean his eyes aren't open and his blood's not running fast when he sees Pamela. But the way she looks at him, as if he were an item on the menu, annoys him. He refuses to be any woman's plaything. Derrick's got a secret life he's running or hiding from, and we're not sure which, but author Michelle Libby does a great job of dangling just enough to keep us turning the pages for more.

Pam finds some things have changed in the sleepy little town she now calls home, and goes in search of a childhood friend that used to live next door. Only she finds hot and hunky Derrick the custodian instead. Again the two don't hit it off, which just adds to the delicious sexual tension Ms. Libby strings through out.

When the two finally get together, Pam gets sick, and he rushes her to the hospital with all of the finesse and integrity of a trusted doctor. Indeed, he seems quite at home in the middle of the mess that is the emergency room -- talking to the doctors, giving out orders. Pam wonders what is up?

Ms. Libby does a great job showing us that old habits are hard to drop. Pam finds that even though her heart gravitates in Derrick's direction, she cannot easily ignore that she's worried about what others will think and say, because she is hooking up with the school custodian. Only, getting to know Derrick proves to be just as difficult as proving to herself, and everyone else she knows that she can make it on her own. That he harbors secrets and a past he isn't willing to share, makes him all the more intriguing to Pam and to us.   

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